The FAA reported 863 delays at airports throughout the U.S. on April 24 directly related to the air traffic controlers decreased staffing caused by the sequester furloughs.
Yesterday evening, April 25, the senate approved legislation entitled "The Reducing Flight Delays Act of 2013" aimed at reducing airport delays caused by the mandatory furloughs of air traffic controlers.
The “Reducing Flight Delays Act of 2013” now moves to the House of Representatives for its consideration.
Many Washington watchers are saying this speedy, uncharacteristic, non partisan cooperation by congress is due to the fact that many of our government officials will be flying home themselves on Friday for recess. Others say congress acted responsibly to protect millions of travelers, shipped products and jobs who are rely daily on the smooth operation of our airline industry.
This legislation enables the FAA to transfer up to $253 million in funding to be applied towards airport operations and staffing until the end of this fiscal year of operation (Sept. 30th). This money is now earmarked for the salaries of air traffic controlers and will keep 100 smaller airport control towers open for operation across the U.S. this summer.
The hope is that this stop gap measure will help to prevent chaos during the upcoming busy summer travel season. Again this funding will help the FAA avoid flight delays and cancellations due to lack of air traffic control staff. The TSA still has it's hiring freeze in effect along with no overtime policies. This could still potentially lead to security check point delays for families who will be flying this summer. For this reason, we still recommend parents follow our tips for dealing with airport delays.